Longmont Library is here to help.
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, health related goals top the list. That’s to be expected. However, there are plenty of us who want to dig a bit deeper into the written word. A good story has the power to transport us elsewhere without ever leaving our favorite reading spot, but it can benefit us in other ways as well. Studies have shown that reading boosts intelligence and problem solving skills, but it has also been shown to increase empathy and reduce stress.
It doesn’t really matter what you read either. The superiority of fiction vs. nonfiction has long been debated, but both have their own set of benefits. The more important thing is choosing titles or subjects that interest you. You’re more likely to make time for reading if it’s something you want to read in the first place.
Format can make a difference as well.
In this digital age, e-readers are available for a relatively low cost. For those who don’t want to make a commitment to purchasing new books or find it difficult to physically visit the library, e-readers are a convenient way to read more. Library apps like Libby and Hoopla make it easy to keep lists of books you want to read, and check them out from anywhere. You just need a library card. The downside being that they may not have what you want, when you want it.
Some people will always love the physical experience of a paper book. They have a feel and smell that just don’t translate into a digital format. It can also be very satisfying to have them all on a shelf that they can return to again and again. Of course, checking out books from the library retains that experience without having to purchase them.
There can also be a social component to reading. Book clubs are a rewarding and social way to hold yourself accountable to your goals. You may not have as much say in exactly what you read but that can help widen your exposure, and help you discover new things.
The Longmont Library has several local book clubs, both in-person and virtual, to choose from.
Second Mondays Book Group
Every second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m., holidays excepted
January’s selection: “The Sentence” by Louise Erdrich
February’s selection: “What Happened to the Bennetts?” by Lisa Scottoline
First Thursdays Book Group
Every first Thursday of the month at 2 p.m., holidays excepted
January’s selection: “Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020)” by David Sedaris
February’s selection: The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue by Mike Tougias
The Great Ideas Reading and Discussion Group
Select Thursdays of the month at 3 p.m., holidays excepted
The topic and selection for the January 19 meeting is Great Treasury of Western Thought, pages 624-629: Courage.
Virtual Book Club World
The Longmont Library also offers access to 12 virtual bookclubs. These clubs are divided mostly by genre, though there are groups for teens and audio book enthusiasts.
To sign up for any of the above book groups and view a schedule of their book selections, visit longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-e-m/library/books-and-reading/book-groups-and-online-book-clubs .
The library also offers Books in a Bag to help you get started in your reading journey. They’re especially useful if you’re considering starting your own book club. The Library has done all the legwork for you!
— By Misty Kaiser LONGMONT MAGAZINE